Will Robinho Be Scolari’s First Chelsea Signing?

\With Scolari taking up the Chelsea reins this week, rumours of a first potential acquisition have already hit the headlines. According to reports last night, Chelsea have offered Real Madrid somewhere in the region of £27million for Robinho.

Reports in the Spanish media suggest Abramovich has offered 35million Euros in anticipation of Scolari’s arrival. The Real Madrid man being a player Scolari’s  reported to have had his eye on for some time is presumably Roman’s idea of a ‘welcome’ gift. Either that, or the fact that the Spanish press are still convinced Ronaldo will go to Real is enough for them to assume Robinho will be looking for somewhere else to play his football next season. Add to that the fact that only Chelsea would pay out that sort of money for the Brazilian and that’s the column inches filled.

But what if it’s true? What could Robinho provide for the £27million? Well, he could give us a bit more consistency than SWP who looks all set for a Chelsea departure in the near future. The winger, who can also play as a second striker, had an impressive 2007/2008 season with Real, and his 11 goals and 14 assists might go some way to easing the potential shortfall should Lampard not be around to provide his usual amount from midfield. And at a mere 24, he could bring the average age down a touch, which would make a nice change from bringing in players past their best.

But, with Madrid sporting director Pedrag Mijatovic rumoured to be holding out for nearer £35million, is he really likely to come?

 

Michael Ballack: The Unluckiest Player Going?

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The end of last night’s Euro 2008 final saw one very subdued German standing in the semi-circle whilst red shirts jumped up and down in celebration around him.  Little wonder, given his increasing frustration during the game was pretty evident, that his manager and team mates seemed to give him a wide berth for a few minutes following the final whistle. An all too familiar situation of late, Germany captain and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack must be starting to wonder what exactly he’s doing wrong as he looks at yet another runners-up medal today.

He’d barely made the game because of a calf injury according to reports before the game and ended up with a gash over his right eye and not much else as the final whistle blew. After a poor start to his Chelsea career, Ballack had certainly started to show us what he was capable of by the end of last season and yet still only got 3 runners-up medals and then after carrying his form into the Euros, came away with exactly the same ‘prize’.

Not that he was a stranger to losing before he came to Chelsea though. He’d already been through the misery of a Champions League final defeat with Bayer Leverkusen against Real Madrid in 2002. The same year he had to sit out the World Cup final through suspension and could only look on as Germany lost 2-0 to Brazil. He’d also missed out at the 2000 and 2004 Euros where Germany were knocked out in the first round both times. And with him being 33 when the next lot of finals come round, his chances of winning a final with his country now are looking pretty slim. In fact, if it wasn’t for the league and cup titles he won with Bayern Munich, you’d start to suspect he had no luck at all.

But in true Ballack fashion, verbally at least he seems to be shrugging it off. After the game, Ballack held up his hands stating “The team have played a fantastic Euro 2008 tournament, but unfortunately we made one or two mistakes too many tonight.” He also went on to say “It’s always disappointing to lose a final” – and let’s face it, if anyone should know by now he should.